SOUTH KOREA: CASINOS CLAIM BEING LEFT BEHIND BY GOVERNMENT
Casinos won’t receive the loan that government offered to all the business impacted by the Coronavirus crisis.
South Korea.- While the spread of coronavirus continues to impact South Korea, measures are being taken to face the crisis. The government is currently delivering relief loans to support businesses that were severely beaten by this situation, mainly related to tourism, such as culture and leisure activities.
But according to local press, casinos have been left out of the government’s relief loans despite their hefty contributions of 10 per cent of sales every year.
The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism on Wednesday last week had allocated US$79 million for special loans from its Tourism Promotion Fund, but nothing for casinos, which are struggling to pay their bills as the COVID-19 outbreak has taken a devastating toll on the 2.73 trillion-won casino industry, which was responsible for 10.5 per cent of sales of South Korea’s tourism industry in 2017.
“How are we supposed to pay when there are no customers?”, complained an official from the Korea Casino Association. “After decades of contributions, we have been excluded from the special loans at this time of crisis. There is no support from the government at all. We are planning to file a request for delaying the payment.”
In response, the Culture Ministry said the special loans were aimed for small businesses.
“The special loans are for small travel agencies and accommodation businesses that cannot provide collateral for loans,” said an official from the ministry.